Denali, the tall one
Ride the Americas
Perhaps the best known attraction in Alaska is this 6 million acre National Park, featuring the 6190m Mt Denali, North America’s highest peak. Most park visitors don’t get to actually see the mountain as it spends a lot of time hiding behind surrounding peaks …
Planning a four day stay in the park, we were hopeful that at some point we’d catch at least a glimpse of Mt. Denali, ‘the tall one’.
Alas, it was not to be, with our stay coinciding with some interesting weather. Indeed, we spent one day largely huddled up in our tent at Igloo Creek, watching the rain/sleet …
It did give us a renewed appreciation for the ubiquitous Alaskan spruce trees as these actually have have pretty dense foliage that provides a nice leafy umbrella.
The next day our resolve was crumbling fast in the face of yet more rain. But given that we’d come to the park hoping to see some of the famed wildlife, and that we were unlikely to encounter anything if we stayed in the tent, it was time to grit the teeth, layer up and head out.
Gloom was soon replaced by hilarity as the rain eased, views expanded …
Once past the bus turn around point we had the road to ourselves.
Rolling up and over multiple passes we reached Eielson for a late lunch, having seen our first grizzly bear up on a roadside ridge.
As the day drew out we encountered caribou, trotting along the road with their noses in the air,
and mountain goats. Arctic ground squirrels kept us entertained with their goofy ‘jack in the box’ antics.
It was nearly 7pm when we rolled back into our camp (where it was still raining), but wow, what a day!
We are now in Fairbanks, planning our trip along the Dalton Highway, aiming to reach the northernmost point of the trip at Prudhoe Bay, and the moment when we turn and begin the journey south ….
Ed & Gaye